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>>> hi, everyone. i'm tamron hall. drones set to take center stage at john brennan's con fir hags hearing starting up in about 30 minutes from now. this, in fact, a live picture from inside the hearing room on capitol hill. our first read team says, quote, we are likely to learn more about america's drone war and public setting than we ever have before. and just a short time ago, the administration briefed lawmakers on the classified memo providing the rationale for drone strikes targeting americans linked to al qaeda and pressure of both parties including democratic senator widen who vowed to, quote, pull out all the stops to get the answers he wants. >> every american has the right to know when their government believes it's allowed to kill them. i don't think that's too much to ask as one person said and this idea that security and liberty are mutually exclusive, that you can have only one or the other is something i reject. >> brennan also expected to face tough questions on the role in bush administration's use of torture and for those controversial leaks reportedly from the
on the eve of john brennan's cia hearing. the white house relents and turns over its secret memo. >> every american has the right to know when their government believes it's allowed to kill them. this idea that security and liberty are mutually exclusive, that you can have only one or the other is something i reject. >> but what about john brennan's answers on torture and secret leak investigations? the defense department on defense. the pentagon's top brass pushed back on questions about the military response in benghazi. >> are you surprised that the president of the united states never called you secretary panetta, and says how is it going? >> you know, normally in these situations -- >> did he know the level of threat that -- >> let me finish the answer. we were deploying the forces. he knew we were deploying the forces. he was being kept -- >> i hate to intript you, but i have limited time. we didn't deploy any forces. >> it was over by the time -- >> mr. secretary, you didn't know how long the attack would last. did you ever call him and say, mr. president, it looks like we don't hav
to head the dcia. john brennan was increased hard on the use of drones and enha e enhanced interrogation techniques. government memos show drones have been cleared for use against u.s. citizens suspected as working against terrorists. tracie potts is live in washington with the details. >> reporter: good morning. brennan defended and strongly defended the use of drones but he distanced himself from how the bush administration questioned terror suspects. it looks like john brennan is gaining the support of several lawmakers after defending u.s. drone attacks on terror suspects, even americans. at least three have been killed so far. >> i think any american who did that should know well that they, in fact, are part of an enemy against us and that united states will do everything possible to destroy that enemy to save american lives. >> reporter: drones are used against imminent threats, he said, not as payback. but some are still concerned if it's legal and ask, what if the cia takes out the wrong person? >> we've got to see all, any and all, of those legal opinions, ones that the bipartis
. >> will this imperil john brennan's nomination? >> the president believes john brennan is uniquely qualified. >> i don't know bay fler tosses the ball right back to the president. >> at some point, washington has to deal with its spending problem. i've watched them kick this condition down the road for 22 years that i've been here. i've had enough of it. it's time to act. >> hollywood joins the gun control debate. >> doctors can ask if their patients practice unsafe sex or use illicit drugs or have suicidal ideations or feel threat tleled in the home, about you it's illegal for them to discuss guns. >> i believe as assault weapons were invent vented for war. shouldn't be on our streets here. >>> coming up, elijah cummings. and whatever happened to clint eastwood's chair? the hunt to track down the famous furniture. >> and you would i know is that about two minutes into clint eastwood's speech when i realizedwould i know is that about two minutes into clint eastwood's speech when i realized that he was talking to the chair and teleprompters were off, i told hey wimy wife let's that chair. >> i'm andrea
brennan faces stiff scrutiny from all sides in tough questioning over drones, waterboarding and leaks. popular vote, hillary clinton is day's removed from public office but a new poll finds her public image soaring. time to put another log on the 2016 speculation fire. and the northeast braces for a giant winter storm that could deliver historic and dangerous amounts of snow combined with gale force winds. the latest update on what to expect in minutes. good morning from washington. it's friday, february 8, 2013, and this is "the daily rundown." from the moment cia nominee john brennan entered his confirmation hearing on thursday, it was clear that the first major public discussion of the obama administration's drone program would be on the combative end, offering a rare public display of democratic dismay with their president a president's policies. after protesters interrupted brennan's opening statement five times, committee chair dianne feinstein cleared the room leaving it nearly ended as brennan defended the drone program and senators shared their frustrationses. >> with the exc
for john brennan, president obama's nominee to heat cia, it was held in the intelligence committee in the senate, right? well, specifically it's called the u.s. senate select committee on intelligence. this committee was not created until 1976. it was created specifically in response to the recommendations of the church committee. the church committee was a special senate investigation led by idaho senator frank church. it was formed in 1975. their work took nine months and 150 staffers. they produced a two-foot-thick report in may 1976 that said, among other things, that we need congress to oversee intelligence in this country. the way we are overseeing it now is not working. and you know why we can tell that oversight is not working? because the cia keeps killing people. or trying to kill people in other countries that we are not at war with. the cia at the time had taken it upon itself, it wasn't clear if they were acting alone or at various presidents' direction, but they had taken on the job of assassinations in foreign countries. assassinations and attempted assassinations. a
for cia director nominee john brennan. >> tough questions about drones. >> any american who joins al qaeda will know full well that they have joined an organization that is at war with the united states. >> targeted killing by the cia is not just something they're allowed to do quietly on their own. >> with the exception of mr. panetta, i feel i have been jerked around by every cia director. >> i love these groups that are criticizing us saying, well, they're fake conservatives. >> this newspaper article about karl rove's intentions is only serving to unite the tea party. >> you made some mistakes but everybody makes mistakes. >> sure. >> heard anything on nbc about the drones? >> not yet. >> tonight we have exclusive reporting on the contents of that white paper. joining us now is nbc news national investigative correspondent michael isikoff. ♪ >>> we start on a day where up to three feet of snow and winds nearing hurricane strength are expected to batter the northeast, and we'll have much more on that throughout the broadcast. but we begin in washington where we are awaiting the presid
brennan, will face the senate intelligence committee for his confirmation hearing as the director of central intelligence. one of the very first thing president obama did you might remember when he first became president at the start of his first term in 2009 was that he dropped the bush administration's torture policy. remember, he did that right away. he issued an executive order two davis taking office to doubly, triply extra ban torture in the united states. at the start of that first term, newly elected president obama also wanted to nominate john brennan to be the head of the cia. but he didn't end up putting him forward. john brennan ended up taking his name out of contention for that nomination because of opposition to him being chosen. and the opposition centered on the fact that john brennan had been deputy executive director of the cia during the bush days. during the bad old torturing prisoners days of the george w. bush administration. so you're going to have a brand-new president who bans torture, but then you're going to put a guy who was there for the whole torture
, other answers were given to the committee that were revealed today from john brennan. we can talk about that after a moment. they knew that there were other issues they were going to have to deal with. they needed to get this off the table. >> well, in terms of releasing to the intelligence committees, it's a very good point about who this is going to. this is not the same as releasing this memo publicly. we presumably will still never know what is in it, just as members of the public. but andrea, do we know enough about what the administration was concerned about in this document, that worried them so much that before tonight they wouldn't even show it to the oversight committees in congress in a classified setting? do we know what they saw as so potentially dangerous releasing even that far? >> i'm not sure what they thought was so dangerous initially, other than they believe there is a precedent that this is basically a legal memo, an advisory memo. and others have been released in the past on other, you know, on technical and intelligence issues. they were arguing this is the equiva
brennan going on the hot seat in a matter of hours as the white house makes an about face on its controversial drone program and the targeting of americans overseas. the obama administration now breaking years of secrecy and handing over a confidential 16-page memo that justifies the targeting killing of u.s. citizens abroad suspected of being terrorists. this decision to release the document came hours before brennan was to face a serious grilling by lawmakers outraged over the program. the biggest critic, democratic senator ron wyden who says the president has been stonewalling congress for years and suggested blocking brennan's nomination. president obama called wyden specifically last night. >> clearly, the president's call to senator wyden so unusual and trying to ward off what could be a calamitous hearing today. >> what standard will barack obama be held to after the pictures of the little children who were killed by his cone drone attacks are placed before the jury in the hague? >> i was encouraged last night when the president called and he said as part of this effort, h
, if they are high level terrorist targets, lawmakers interrogated john brennan for over three hours yesterday over the drone issue and other war tactics. it was explosive at times with brenn brennan defending the action. >> with the exception of mr. panetta, i feel like i've been jerked around by every cia director. >> 11 united states senators asked to see any and all legal opinions but when i went to read the opinions this morning, it is not clear that that is what was provided. >> we only take such actions as a last resort to save lives, when there's no other alternative to taking an action that's going to mitigate that threat. >> they won't even tell congress what countries we are killing children in. >> please -- >> senator feinstein zsh if you could please expedite the removal. >>> we have michael isakoff, and the correspondent who obtained the white page memo, jim warren, chicago editor of the daily beast and newsweek and karen finney and john braybender. michael, i want to start with you because it was your reporting that started all of this for the american people to get to learn more abo
-- >> john brennan takes tough questions about his connections to waterboarding and drones. >> do you believe the president should provide an american the opportunity to -- >> any american who joins al qaeda will know full well that they have joined an organization that is at war with the united states and that has killed thousands upon thousands of individuals, many, many of them who are americans. >> do you have a personal opinion as to whether waterboard issing torture? >> i have a personal opinion that waterboarding is rep rehence sxibl is something that should not be done. >> former president bill clinton rallying house democrats today at their annual retreat in virginia. earlier the same retreat, nancy pelosi and the democrats hosted a foe political figure steven kol better. earlier still comedian colbert revved up the crowd, but last night he was all about the coming storm. >> please stay off the roads unless you have snow tires, snow chains, or one of these things. >> if yworst hit will be boston which is expecting five-foot snow drifts. my god. if that happens to new york, we won't f
. >> thank you, very much, mr. brennan. i have five short questions that we traditionally ask. if you would just answer them yes or no. do you agree to appear before the committee -- >> chairman of the senate -- >> excuse me. do agree to appear before the committee or other venues when invited? >> yes. >> do you a gree to send personnel when invited? >> yes. >> do you agree to provide documents or any other materials requested by the committee in order for it to carry out its oversight and legislative responsibilities? >> yes, all documents under my authority. >> we'll talk to you more about that in a minute. will you ensure that the cia and officials provide such material to the committee when requested? >> yes. >> do you agree to inform and fully brief to the fullest extent possible all members of this committee of intelligence activities and covert actions rather than only the chairman and vice chairman? >> yes, i will endeavor to do that. >> thank you. now, let me -- and we are going to go in to eight-minute rounds and we'll do it by seniority and alternate from side to side. i wanted t
for the brennan confirmation hearing. first it was virginia. now michigan is flirting with state-mandated vaginal probes. there's a late update on this story. i'll talk war on women with terry o'neil and actress martha plimpton. >>> senator bernie sanders has a new plan to stop corporate tax dodgers. >> corporations are people, my friend. >> the senator unveils his new bill here tonight. >>> plus, someone actually made the paul harvey farmer ad better. >>> and governor chris christie wants everyone to shut up about his weight. >> shut up. >> tonight, reverend al sharpton is here to give the governor some tips on becoming the biggest loser. >>> good to have you with us tonight, folks. thanks for watching. the confirmation hearings of cia director nominee john brennan got off to a rocky start today. human rights protesters from the activist group code pink interrupted the hearings before they even started. john brennan is the architect of the obama administration's drone warfare program, which includes targeted killings. once the hearing got under way, there was another disruption. the protester wa
of the cia. john brennan, the architect of the obama administration's drone program, strongly defended their use, saying strikes only take place to prevent terror threats, not as punishment for them. >> i think there is a misimpression on the part of some american people who believe that we take strikes to punish terrorists for past transgressions. nothing could be further from the truth. we only take such actions as a last resort to save lives when there's no other alternative to taking an action that's going to mitigate that threat. >> democratic senator ron wyden who has demanded more insight into the administration's legal justification for drone strikes against americans pressed brennan on the issue. >> do you believe that the president should provide an individual american with the opportunity to surrender before killing them? >> any american who joins al qaeda will know full well that they have joined an organization that is at war with the united states and has killed thousands upon thousands of individuals, many, many of them who were americans. so i think any american who did
on friday, february 8 records we have a lot to talk about including the testimony of john brennan, the president's pick to head the cia. we'll show you his answers on the controversial drone program ask why he refused to call waterboarding torture. >>> new revelations as to what the white house didn't do to help the rebels in syria and why president obama went against the advice of his top advisers. >>> before we get to our top political stories we begin with what will be a record-setting winter storm bearing down on the northeast. could bring easily up to 2 feet to new york city, long island, all of connecticut, all of rhode island, eastern massachusetts, coastal new hampshire and maine blizzard warnings. millions of people, hours left to prepare, the blizzard of 2013 is starting today. you can see where it's located behind me, off the outer banks of north carolina, the heavy rain shield goes up through the mid-atlantic, all the way into southern jersey. the snow part of the storm has yet to begin. that will happen as we go through the morning hours and especially after noon toda
people familiar with the call, brennan stressed that the plot was never a threat to the u.s. public or air safety because washington had inside control over it. >> inside control of the plot, yeb, that's exactly right. >> so based on that one would know that we had something inside. is that a fair statement. >> from that statement, it is known that that ied at the time was not a threat to the traveling public because we had said publicly there was no active plot at the time of the bin laden anniversary. >> would you agree with me that that disclosure resulted in the outing of an asset that shouldn't have been outed? >> absolutely not, senator. i do not agree with you whatsoever. >> how do you say that? >> what i'm saying is we were explaining to the american public why that ied was not, in fact, a threat at the time that it was in the control of individuals. when we say positive control, inside control, that means we have that operation either environmentally or any number of ways. it did not in any way reveal any type of classified information. and i told those individuals to trans
been watching the confirmation hearings for cia director nominee john brennan, an explosive day of testimony marked with protests and contentious questioning, a story that will no doubt dominate the headlines for days to come. "hardball" picks things up right now. >>> defending the drones. let's play "hardball." ♪ >>> good evening. i'm michael smerconiummer komer chris matthews. secrets and spies. the man who is at the center of the national debate over the targeted killing of americans overseas has been in the hot seat on capitol hill. among other things john brennan coordinates the kill list and so his confirmation hearing to become head of the cia is drawing an unusual amount of interest and attention. we'll get to what he said and the reaction at the top of the show. >>> also, more and more people on the right are asking, who is karl rove and why should we listen to him anymore? rove wants electable republicans nominated. the tea partiers want their people in. real right wingers and they're trashing rove and establishment republicans in the process. >>> plus, you've probab
's john brennan's turn on capitol hill. what will the nominee say? the policies for killing al qaeda operatives who are american citizens and the overall use of drone strikes in other countries. by the way, when is the senate going to vote on chuck hagel's nomination. delay is rarely a good thing. biden rallies house democrats and we will talk to one member who is part of that bunch leading the charge. 48 hours after joking about his weight with letterman, chris christie gets serious and tough when asked about what a former white house doctor had to say about him. there is something going on that has a lot to do with 2016. it's thursday, february seventh, 2013. it's t"the daily rundown." let's get to the first reads of the morning. you may be breaking off to hear from president obama at the prayer breakfast. let's start with the first read. after years of secrecy, president obama ordered the justice department to release a classified memo detailing the legal justification for killing americans considered terrorists to two congressional committees. they will do so on a classified basi
brennan's confirmation hearing. >> whether he should be the next cia director. >> he's determined, he's strong. >> john brennan is going to face questions. >> a lot of questions. >> about the legal justification for using drone strikes. >> drones set to take center stage. >> to kill american citizens. >> these targets are ethical and justified. >> these are not the drones you're looking for. >> republicans are at war with karl rove. bush's brain, as rove used to be known, when rove was thought to still have a brain, is on a mission to crush backcrap crazy republicans so the party will actually nominate more reasonable candidates who have a chance of winning general elections against democrats. today, a republican who writes big checks to karl rove told politico that the republican party, quote, has had too many candidates who are nut cases. i don't think anybody anywhere with any sense is going to want to elect a candidate who says if your daughter gets raped, it's god's will. give me a break, will you? the problem for karl rove is that he and his rich republican friends may be outnum
't disagree with that. >> okay. do you think this is going to imperil john brennan's nomination? >> the president believes that john brennan is uniquely qualified as a 25-year veteran of intelligence work. >> okay. good morning, everyone. it's the top of the hour. 6:00 on the east coast. it's thursday, february 7th. welcome to "morning joe." with us on set, we have the chairman of deutsche incorporated, donny deutsch. and former treasury official and "morning joe" economic analyst, steve rattner. and from washington, nbc chief foreign affairs correspondent and host of "andrea mitchell reports," andrea mitchell. andrea, good morning. >> good morning. hi, mika. >> want to get straight into the news. chris christie's back in the news. he kind of fired back at that white house doctor who made some really kind of inappropriate comments about his weight. >> yeah, did you hear about that? >> i thought. i thought it was great what he said. it's exactly the conversation that we don't need to have about weight and obesity. we need to have a better one. hopefully this will lead to that at
of americans overseas has been in the hot seat on capitol hill. among other things, john brennan coordinates the kill list, and so his confirmation hearing to become head of the cia is drawing an unusual amount of interest and attention. we'll get to what he said and the reaction at the top of the show. >>> also, more and more people on the right are asking, who is karl rove and why should we listen to him anymore? rove wants electable republicans nominated. the tea partiers want their people in, real right wingers, and they're trashing rove and establishment republicans in the process. >>> plus, you've probably heard that chuck hagel once said the following, quote, the jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here. i'm not an israeli senator. i'm a united states senator. but what you probably haven't heard is the rest of that interview and why some people who know what hagel really said aren't angry with him at all. >>> and why is chris christie talking so much about his weight? maybe because he wants to talk about it on his terms, and why might that be? because perhaps he's running for
of waterboard and detention made their voices heard at yesterday's confirmation hearing for john brennan as cia director. >> they won't even tell congress what country we are killing children in. >> please -- >> senator feinstein. >> if you could please expedite the removal. >> more important than the children of pakistan and yemen? are they more important? do your job! >> the hearing serve as a public discussion of the most controversial counterterrorism policies that began under president george w. bush and, in part, have continued and expanded under president obama. brennan's defense of the secrecy surrounding the administration's most questionable program, targeted assassinations using drone aircraft, was as opaque as the program itself. >> what we need to do is optimize transparency on these issues, but at the same time optimize secrecy and the protection of our national security. i don't think that it's one or the other. it's trying to optimize both of them. >> some senators, including ron widen and angus king, pushed brennan to explain the legal at and justification for assassinating ame
on capitol hill this morning. during confirmation hearings, john brennan will be asked to explain the legal justification tore predator drone strikes against u.s. citizens. they're expected to zero in as his chief counter-terrorism adviser, specifically what he knew and when he knew it. his knowledge of the administration's use of the tactic faces scrutiny after the release of confidential government documents. drones are used to kill americans believed to be leaders of al qaeda. that news brought backlash from both sides of the aisle along with demands of the administration's legal justification for the strikes. the white house bound to growing political pressure and agreed to hand over the documents to congress. dianne feinstein who heads the intelligence committee says lawmakers should know what brennan knew and when he knew it. she released a statement saying it's critical for the committee's oversight function to fully understand the legal basis for all intelligence and counter-terrorism operations. >>> in a speech last summer, brennan said the use of drone strikes by the u.s. turned a
for john brennan. john brennan's champion of the drone program, has served as president obama's terrorism expert. wyden says it makes a mockery of the oversight process. he says he was kept in the loop about the strike that killed an american-born al qaeda leader. >> we do have oversight into it. i knew about those operations, the targeting sets, all of that leading up to it, including very shortly thereafter. and i review all of is the air strikes that we use under this title of the law. >> let's turn to our panel tonight. msnbc military analyst and medal of honor recipient, colonel jack jacobs. michelle goldberg of "newsweek" and daily beast. and sam stein of the "huffington post." great to have all of you with us tonight. >> thank you. >> michelle, you first. what do you make of the white house's response tonight that they are providing the memos that those on the intel committee wanted? >> they obviously should have provided them a long time ago. it was always ludicrous, not only that these weren't made public, but that they weren't even allowed to the people who are charged with over
of more noftion and it comes just hours before the confirmation hearing for john brennan. the white house counterterrorism adviser was the architect of the president's drone policy and one of its biggest defenders. >> it's this surgical precision, the ability with laser-like focus to eliminate the cancerous tumor called an al qaeda terrorist. >> i want to bring in "the washington post's" political reporter nia-malika henderson and politico's white house reporter carrie brown. good morning. >> good morning. >> this issue has been simmering for a while. why did the white house decide to do this now? >> well, this wasn't about to go away for the president and it was particularly interesting timing given that today his nominee for the cia is going to have his confirmation hearing, and, quite frankly, there was a growing bipartisan call in the senate in congress for the white house to finally acknowledge this program and provide the legal basis for the targeting killings by drones. this has been something that has been -- they've been under pressure for years to acknowledge and to provide more
, john brennan, and he helped design this very program. should we expect that this memo is going to formulate much of the questioning that he has to sustain and take on thursday? >> well, this memo ought to as well as his history with the cia's torture of suspects who were in detention. all of those things are going to be bubbling up here, but, you know, i think liberals who are thinking about this ought to say how would i feel about this if this memo was written for dick cheney or for george w. bush? let's say you're a huge fan of barack obama and you do think he's ethical and wise or whatever the words that jay carney used. obama is not going to be president forever. we're going to have new administrations, and obama has kind of solidified what bush and cheney put into place and that's going to be in the hands of other administrations in the future, and david is right. there are no checks on this. if this is so ethical, it's so wise, and it's so legal, then why don't you be honest and open about it and tell congress what you're doing so at least they can do it even if you're go
for new choice of cia director, john brennan. john brennan was once the deputy cia director. he is now president obama's counterterrorism director at the white house. but if he is to run the cia for president obama, john brennan is first going to have to face questions on thursday about some of what michael isikoff turned up here on this program last night. a justice department white paper elaborating the administration's reasoning for why it thinks it is legal to kill american citizens on the president's say so. or actually, on the say so of an informed high level official of the u.s. government. so maybe that's the president, but maybe that's somebody else. michael isikoff's scoop ended up at "the new york times" today and "the washington post" and "the hill" and slate and salon and ap to name a few. it was everywhere. and then at a press conference today, the attorney general was asked about it. >> last night nbc reported a white paper that was prepared by the justice department undated, unsigned about the legal -- the legal pinnacles for targeting americans overseas. could you plea
of debate within the administration, but. >> that would be true. >> with cia nominee john brennan's confirmation hearing set for thursday, the pressure on the administration to be more transparent will only increase. in the last year, the administration officials have given several speeches that were designed to give the illusion of transparency on this issue by the use of force in targeted killings without being fully transparent. brennan was the first administration official to publicly acknowledge the drone strikes calling them, quote, ethical and just in a speech at the wilson center last year. >> it is hard to imagine a tool that can better minimize the risk to civilians than remotely piloted aircraft. for the same reason, targeted strikes conform the principle of humanity which requires us to use weapons that will not inflict unnecessary suffering. >> and at a speech last march at northwestern university law school, attorney general eric holder said the targeted killings of americans are constitutional if government officials determine the target poses an imminent threat of
brennan, of course, nominated to be the next head of the cia. >> why you are dancing around the question of whether or not we kill civilians? why can't the government -- >> i don't think that i'm dancing around it. i didn't dispute it. >> not necessarily -- >> what i can't do or what i'm not -- i don't disagree with that. >> do you think this is going to impair john brennan's nomination? >> the president believes that john brennan is uniquely qualified as a 25-year veteran of intelligence work. >> last night the president reportedly spoke with senator widen agreeing to allow access to the classified legal advice. we'll ask the senator directly about his concerns coming up on "morning joe." >>> also confirmation vote on chuck hagel's nomination to be the next secretary of defense has been abruptly postponed. the senate arms services committee says it needs more information about hagel's paid speeches and business dealings. a number of republicans have raised concerns about whether the former senator has accepted payments for consulting work from "foreign sources." hagel insists he's alrea
and concerned libertarians. now as john brennan, the architect of the u.s. drone policy and president obama's mick to head the cia readies to testify this afternoon on capitol hill, calls for greater transparency and legal justification for the killings have increased. the outcry reached a crescendo on monday when nbc's michael isikoff obtained a leaked white pair from the government suggesting that the u.s. government can kill american set zenz overseas without any specific intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the u.s. the expansive legal framework set off alarm bells. >> every american has the right to know when their government believes it's allowed to kill them. i don't think that as one person said, that is too much to ask. >> the "new york times" wrote "it was disturbing to see the twisted logic of the administration's lawyers laid out in black and white. it brought back unwelcome memories of memos written for president george w. bush to justify illegal wiretapping, indefinite detention, kidnapping, abuse, and torture. "time's" writer david carr put it
brennan, the headline of "the national journal" says john brennan shows hagel how it's done. we had another drone attack today. seven people killed in pakistan. an area outside of pakistan. none are civilians according to u.s. officials. nevertheless, the dynamic there, the clearing of the chamber and some of the tough questions from democrats to brennan, how do you measure his performance yesterday and the answers he gave? >> you know, i think a frustration was built around mostly the cia and the really hostile relationship between congress and the agency over the years and what lawmakers feel is the agency's failure to brief them adequately on a lot of secret operation that is are happening overseas. i think brennan is generally safe. he did perform satisfactory according to a lot of these -- the key democrats an some of the republicans on the panel and will get confirmed. i think that will happen in the next couple of weeks but look for the issue of the drone strikes and whether or not there needs to be more oversight to become a hot issue in the next weeks. >> senator bob menend
-- play a central role in the brennan confirmation hearing this week and a number of democratic senators asking pointed questions about this document and more specifically whether the white house and department of justice will release the actual memo. this is a summary memo. >> i talked to senator king's office today, democrat, maine. he said he's very much looking forward to making this a crucial part of the questioning on brennan on thursday. >> right. and again, what this document actually is, it's like a white paper, a summary of the actual official office of legal counsel for the department of justice that authorized the killings of american citizens. the concern and it's popping up a little bit today, the concern is that there are -- the actual memo is a lot more damning to the administration. the memo is a lot broader, it may be vaguer in terms of -- >> this is pretty broad and vague. >> right. and yet it would be that it doesn't even limit it necessarily to this war on terror that and that is really the risk here and if you want to defend this on the grounds of i don't mind the o
of this could come to a head on thursday for john brennan. eight democratic and three republican senators have written to president obama asking for the legal opinions authorizing the killing of americans. joining me now, national investigative correspondent michael isacoff. i saw your report and the reaction to the report. is it really surprising at this point? >> well, i think it's not that surprising, mainly because the administration has been so resistant to releasing any of the memos that explain its legal reasoning behind these drone strikes and in particular the drone strikes targeting american citizens. members of congress have asked to see copies. "the new york times" went to court and sued under the freedom of information act to obtain copies. and the administration has completely shut those requests down saying these memos are classified. if they exist and they're not going to discuss or release anything. so that has sort of built pressure up for the administration to show its cards. these are very consequential policies. we are here talking about american citizens who have constitu
advisor, john brennan heads to capital hill for his hearing to take over the c.i. averment. the white house has to answer some tough questions about its overseas drone program. the catalyst is a white house memo obtained that justifies american citizens. civil liberties advocates and senator ron widen tweeted today every american has the right to know that their government believes they're allowed to kill them. most americans seem to casually accept this. david corn is washington bureau chief for mother jones. both are msnbc political analysts. jebtle men, let's look here at carney. there was a briefing today and carney defended the president's position on drones. >> i won't talk about specific instances, but the fact is the methods that we use are designed specifically to avoid civilian casualties. i think it's fair to say that far fewer civilians lose their lives in an effort to go after senior leadership as opposed to an effort to lead a country with hundreds of thou sants of troops. >> why are you dancing around the question of whether or not we kill civilians. >> i don't think th
by john brennan and his speech at harvard by jay johnson, the former head -- the former lead counsel at the pentagon. and by eric holder today. but eric holder seemed to be either conflating or combining imminent threat with ongoing threat. tell me about the memo itself. >> that is exactly the rub. they have -- it is certainly true that administration officials, all those you mentioned, have articulated that it is the bottom administration policy that targeted killings of americans who are associated with al qaeda are lawful and constitutional under certain conditions, and the first concern is that the individual poses an imminent threat of a violent attack against the united states. in other words, capture is not feasible, and the operation is done according to law or principles. what this memo does, which is not something that has been public, is flesh that out and provide details about what they mean by that, and one of those striking points is when they get to defining imminent threat. they talk about a broader -- the memo explicitly says that they have intelligence that the targ
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